Press release III: The impact of HIV and AIDS on the SADC region

A group of 108 experts in the food, agriculture and natural resources sector (FANR) gathered at the FANRPAN Johannesburg 2005 Multi-stakeholder Dialogue to deliberate on the impact of HIV and AIDS pandemic on the agricultural sector - especially the food sub-sector - in the SADC region. 

What did they know? 

20% of the entire adult population aged 15-49 is currently infected in the nine southern African countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe (UNAIDS, 2004). This is close to 16 million people. 

What did they ask? 

What are the fundamental implications on the region's labour force for the short, medium and long-term? What are the implications on household vulnerability? What are the implications on household agriculture and food security? How can we best quantify this impact? Is enough being done to address this impact on the agricultural sector? Is enough being done to address this impact on the food sub-sector? What public-funded interventions could be designed to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the agricultural sector? Can households and communities, on their own, address this impact? What can national governments do in the light of the limited resources available to them? What are the implications on the region's food security situation if national governments do not take prompt action? 

Who were they? 

They were 14 senior government policy makers, 23 policy analysts from regional and international universities, 22 representatives of national and regional level civil society organizations, 7 corporate sector representatives, 10 regional and international consultants, 5 from CGIAR centres, 10 farmers and farmer organizations, 2 from the SADC regional secretariat, 3 from international donor organizations, 1 from the NEPAD secretariat, 1 from the FAO sub-regional office, 8 from social research institutions, 1 from a biotechnology research institution and 1 from an independent international research institution. 

Dr Lindiwe Majele Sibanda 

Chief Executive Officer 
SADC Food Agriculture, and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)